WASHINGTON (AP) — At the center of the nationwide baby formula shortage is a single factory: Abbott Nutrition’s plant that has been closed for more than three months because of contamination problems.
On Monday, U.S. officials announced a deal with Abbott that paves the way to restart production at the Sturgis, Michigan, facility, the largest in the U.S. and source of leading brands like Similac.
But it’s not yet clear how soon the site will be up and running. And even bigger questions remain unanswered, including what caused the contamination and whether U.S. regulators could have alleviated the current formula shortage by stepping in sooner. The plant shutdown exacerbated ongoing supply chain problems among U.S. formula makers.
WHAT CAUSED THE SHUTDOWN?
In mid-February, Abbott announced it was recalling various lots of three powdered infant formulas from the plant, after federal officials began investigating rare bacterial infections in four babies who